Economic Sanctions on Iran and Nuclear Medicine

Document Type: Editorial

Author

Nuclear Medicine Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

Abstract

"It is not a wise choice!", this was the reaction of my father when I applied for nuclear medicine residency program 26 years ago. The old retired officer continued that hi-tech nuclear medicine is dependent on multiple advanced sections that may not be easily available especially in the developing countries. Now he is not alive to see that political misconducts have added fuel to the fire.
Global shortage of Technetium-99m in recent years revealed the vulnerability of nuclear medicine and dependency of our clinical departments on the policies of the governments to support production of radiotracers (1). Although the mission of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to "accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world", its application is highly affected by local governmental policies (2)
Recent unilateral withdrawal of USA from Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action-JCPOA) followed by imposing economic, trade and financial sanctions against Iran, has deleterious effect on nuclear medicine either on supply of radiotracers or spare parts of nuclear medicine devices (3). Although medicine is apparently not included in the list of sanctions, secondary sanction, aviation and transport embargo as well as financial restrictions, made it extremely difficult for medical companies to be able to do any transaction. Payment for the drugs or instruments and shipment of the goods to and from Iran have turned to a lengthy, difficult and risky task. Nuclear medicine seems to be at particular risk due to its link with atomic energy agency.

Keywords

Main Subjects


1.Perkins A, Hilson A, Hall J. Global shortage of medical isotopes threatens nuclear medicine services. BMJ. 2008;337:a1577.

2.Deatsch-Kratochvil AN, Pascual TN, Kesner A, Rosenblatt E, Chhem RK. The international atomic energy agency’s activities in radiation medicine and cancer: promoting global health through diplomacy. Can Assoc Radiol J. 2013;64(1):2-5.

3.Declaration on radiopharmaceutical sanctions. Iranian Society of Nuclear Medicine. Available at: URL: http://www.irsnm.ir; Accessed on 2018.

4.Kokabisaghi F. Assessment of the effects of economic sanctions on Iranians’ right to health by using human rights impact assessment tool: a systematic review. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2018;7(5):374-93.

5.Kheirandish M, Varahrami V, Kebriaeezade A, Cheraghali AM. Impact of economic sanctions on access to noncommunicable diseases medicines in the Islamic Republic of Iran. East Mediterr Health J. 2018;24(1):42-51.

6.Shahabi S. International sanctions: sanctions in Iran disrupt cancer care. Nature. 2015;520(7546):157.

7.Massoumi RL, Koduri S. Adverse effects of political sanctions on the health care system in Iran. J Global Health. 2015;5(2):020302.

8.Deilamizade A, Esmizade S. Economic sanctions against iran, and drug use in Tehran, Iran: a 2013 pilot study. Subst Use Misuse. 2015;50(7):859-68.

9.Baradaran-Seyed Z, Majdzadeh R. Economic sanctions strangle Iranians’ health, not just drug supply. Lancet. 2013;381(9878):1626.

10.Arya N. Economic sanctions: the kinder, gentler alternative? Med Conflict Survival. 2008;24(1):25-41.

11.Ghiasi G, Rashidian A, Kebriaeezadeh A, Salamzadeh J. The impact of the sanctions made against Iran on availability to asthma medicines in Tehran. Iran J Pharm Res. 2016;15(3):567-71.

12.Asadi-Pooya AA, Tavana B, Tavana B, Emami M. Drug adherence of patients with epilepsy in Iran: the effects of the international economic sanctions. Acta Neurol Belg. 2016;116(2):151-5.

13.Heidari R, Akbariqomi M, Tavoosidana G. Medical legacy of sanctions in Iran. Nature. 2017;552(7684):175.

14.Hassani M. Impact of sanctions on cancer care in Iran. Arch Bone Jt Surg. 2018;6(4):248-9.

15.Hosseini SA. Impact of sanctions on procurement of medicine and medical devices in Iran; a technical response. Arch Iran Med. 2013;16(12):736-8.

16.Shahabi S, Fazlalizadeh H, Stedman J, Chuang L, Shariftabrizi A, Ram R. The impact of international economic sanctions on Iranian cancer healthcare. Health Policy. 2015;119(10):1309-18.

17.Jalilian AR, Beiki D, Hassanzadeh-Rad A, Eftekhari A, Geramifar P, Eftekhari M. Production and clinical applications of radiopharmaceuticals and medical radioisotopes in Iran. Semin Nucl Med. 2016;46(4):340-58.

18.Radioisotope development & production for industrial & medical applications. ParsIsotpe Company. Available at: URL: http://www. parsisotope.com; Accessed on 12/15/2018. 19.

19.Sen K, Al-Faisal W, AlSaleh Y. Syria: effects of conflict and sanctions on public health. J Public Health. 2013;35(2):195-9.

20.Gibbons E, Garfield R. The impact of economic sanctions on health and human rights in Haiti, 1991- 1994. Am J Public Health. 1999;89(10):1499-504.

21.Duttagupta S, Yampolsky D, Chowdhury CA. Economic sanctions and market access for pharmaceuticals: case studies with Russia, cuba and Iran. Value Health. 2015;18(7):A569.

22.Marks SP. Economic sanctions as human rights violations: reconciling political and public health imperatives. Am J Public Health. 1999;89(10):1509-13.